“A shocking and enlightening portrayal of the tension between Chinese immigrants and Japanese gangs”.
Derek Yee’s Shinjuku incident follows the story of Steelhead (Jackie Chan) who illegally enters Japan to find his girlfriend, who left to find work. But unfortunately he finds out that she is married to the yakuza boss Eguchi. This leads him to a life in the underworld of Japan, making money anyway he can, and running with gangs of illegal Chinese immigrants.
Steelhead soon finds himself in trouble with the Japanese gangs around the area, but it is only after his friend Jie gets hurt that he climbs to be leader of the gang. We soon learn that Steelhead isn’t a malicious man; he wants to make money legally and set up places for his fellow Chinese immigrants to work in. But his dreams attract the unwanted attention of Japanese gangs who want the Chinese out of ‘their’ territory, leading to an immense fight where many casualties are suffered. The film ends with Steelhead floating away in the sewers, with a gaping wound to his side; a sad end to a harrowing film.
Jackie Chan played a very convincing role as Steelhead, this being his first dramatic film I thought he portrayed his character well. The fighting scenes were not over long or impossible, they just enhanced the film and showed what the rivalry between the gangs would have been like in Japan in the 1990’s.
I really liked the film even though gangland thrillers are not my preferred genre. I felt it really portrayed gangs in a terrible light not glorifying them. I can see why the film was banned in China, because it is showing Chinese immigrants, but I think it doesn’t show them in a bad light compared with the vicious Japanese gangs.
I am glad that I went to see the film, I really enjoyed how it had been shot and directed especially the action scenes, and I think Derek Yee did an amazing job.
Film shown 28th October 2pm